Monday, 28 September 2009

Staying neutral

Wherever two or three Welsh Labour politicians are gathered in the hotel bars or on the conference fringe, the talk turns to.....LCOs and the Barnett Formula.

Well, possibly. At Welsh Night, two of the would-be candidates to succeed Rhodri Morgan pressed the flesh with fervour as their supporters span lines to passing hacks.

Carwyn Jones exchanged warm greetings with Gordon Brown (who hasn't a vote) while filmed by another AM from the Jones camp.

Others are trying to stay out of the fray. Peter Hain told me on The Politics Show Wales: "I'm not backing anybody. As secretary of state for Wales I am staying entirely neutral on this, as you'd expect."

Ditto, his deputy Wayne David. There's no law that says Ministers have to stay neutral - and indeed they didn't in the past, Mr Hain backing Ron Davies and Alun Michael against Rhodri Morgan. Perhaps it's the bruises of past battles that explain why studied neutrality is the stance of choice this time.

Mr Hain's neutrality didn't stop him questioning the sustainability of the Welsh Assembly Government's policy of free hospital parking.

Just as well, perhaps, that Health Minister and potential candidate Edwina Hart doesn't appear to have made it to the Sussex coast.


Anonymous said...

Edwina apparently doesnt do conferences.
i wonder why , she doesnt get on with many MPs either so it seems.
Not a good grounding for a campaign to be their leader is it .

Che Grav-ara said...

Bet Hain feels a bit of a tit today after Labour announced it was pro free parking? Maybe you could ask what his views are now, although something tells me he will suddenly find that neutral side!

Not just the Lib Dems that ignore their welsh politicians then

Dirwestwr said...

Just how many back rooms housing bureaucracy are there left to raid? Note that despite the capacity of said rooms to yield more cash than the back of the sofa - this is only a partial free for all - compared to the giveaways so popular in Cardiff Bay. It's good to know that the era of austerity can wait until after the general election.